Save up to 66% on your DIY electrical Wiring Project & get Material Lists, Instructions, Wiring Tips and more
 

Top

Adding a Receptacle for a Garage Door Opener

December 31, 2007

Tracy Asks:
I’m adding a garage door opener to an attached garage. I want to wire a receptacle in the ceiling for the opener. There is already one receptacle on one of the walls. I want to replace that existing receptacle with a GFCI receptacle and wire off of it to the receptacle in the ceiling. However, there is already two cables going to the existing receptacle and the instructions with the GFCI doesn’t tell you what to do if you want 2 loads and 1 line to be wired to a GFCI receptacle. Please Help!

Answer:
If you look at the back side of your GFCI receptacle there are 2 holes in each location for the wires. This allows you to put 2 wires under the load terminals or the line terminals. However, I do not recommend doing this. I would twist the wires together with an approximate six inch pigtail and only place one wire under each terminal.

You also mention placing the wires to your garage door opener receptacle under the load terminals. I do not recommend doing this either. If you place these wires under the load terminals, then the garage door opener motor may cause your GFCI receptacle to nuisance trip. If the GFCI receptacle trips while you are not at home, you won’t be able to open the garage door until you reset the receptacle. This is a major inconvenience during bad weather or if you forget your house key.

I recommend twisting the wires from the power supply and the new garage door opener receptacle together with an approximate six inch pigtail and connecting the pigtail to the line side of your GFCI receptacle. This will send constant power to your garage door opener at all times.

Now the garage receptacles are supposed to be GFCI protected. However, you do not need to GFCI protect the garage door opener receptacles or receptacles for a dedicated appliance (refrigerator or freezer) in the garage.

I created a wiring diagram that should help you with the terminations. This diagram only shows the terminations at the GFCI receptacle. The bottom terminals are the line side and the upper terminals are the load side.

GFCI receptacle wiring diagram
Click image to enlarge

DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician Do you need assistance with your electrical wiring project? Please visit my DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician page. Where I provide electrical wiring tips, expert electrical advice, answers to your electrical questions and electrical consulting & design services over the phone, via instant messenger or via email.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed or receive updates via email. You can also follow me on Twitter and "LIKE" me on Facebook.

Similar Posts:
Site Sponsor


Comments

5 Responses to “Adding a Receptacle for a Garage Door Opener”

  1. Doug on January 15th, 2008 10:26 pm

    I have a similar problem although not exactly. I am trying to update my 1960 outlets from the 2 prong to a grounded 3 prong and not having much luck. The 2 cables that go to the boxes (outlets) are three conductor (red, white , black). 2 cables go to each outlet and no ground wire is present. I believe I need to install GFCI’s but how are these wired? Currently the neutral side is easy but the black and red are both hot and the original install has the reds going to the top terminal and then the blacks going to the bottom terminal. Given this how do I wire the load and the line? Thank you, Doug

  2. Wayne Gilchrist on January 16th, 2008 11:54 pm

    Hey Doug,

    I created a new post with your answer. Please click on the link below:
    http://www.ezdiyelectricity.com/?p=412

    Thank you,
    Wayne

  3. Jim on April 19th, 2008 3:08 pm

    I want to add a receptacle in the ceiling of my garage to accommodate a garage door opener. Can I use the adjacent ceiling light fixture wiring as a source for the receptacle?

  4. sarah on June 10th, 2010 4:59 pm

    ~If you look at the back side of your GFCI receptacle there are 2 holes in each location for the wires. This allows you to put 2 wires under the load terminals or the line terminals. However, I do not recommend doing this. I would twist the wires together with an approximate six inch pigtail and only place one wire under each terminal.~

    hi, I read this and this answered my question that I was looking for!!
    Thanks for the wonderful help!!
    It worked!!

  5. Waqas on June 22nd, 2010 5:48 pm

    I have the same question as Jim. I have a light fixture in the garage and I wanted to add a receptacle to use with a garage door opener. Can I link new wire to the light fixture? Also, there is a GFCI in the garage.

Bottom